For the past few weeks I've had thoughts running around in my head about next year. My motto for the year will be to "work smarter, not harder". I tried working harder this year - all that happened was that I wore myself out & disrupted the family - and I don't know that we're much better off.
Here I sit at the end of another year and I am literally exhausted. Mostly mentally, although physically as well as I'm not sleeping well due to stress. Financially we are doing ok, but there is certainly room for improvement. I've been too busy to watch the pennies and they've been getting up to all sorts of mischief :)
My plan at the start of this year was to start ramping up the business so that when Billy went to school in 2008, I'd be able to work full-time at home, finish paying off our debt and start saving for a new car - how things change in a year! Instead my income will be reduced significantly due both to homeschooling and not wanting to be on the treadmill anymore. So I need to be smarter with what we have rather than trying to earn more money.
These are some of the goals I've come up with so far:
* finance hubby's microbrewery from savings/earnings only - no debt - hopefully we have enough saved for this now. Even more hopefully it will get underway and start earning some money next year!
* get down to $10,000 non-mortgage debt ($6,000+ to pay off)
* look at non-stress alternative income sources that can work around homeschooling - does such a beast really exist??! lol
* save at least $1,000 in appliance repair fund (washing machine is on it's last legs) by June
* reduce present/gift spending - more homemade? LETS? We had a shocking year this year with the present budget - several weddings, births, 40th b'days - all out of the ordinary. Hopefully next year will be better but need to be vigilant.
* Go back to tracking expenses!
* Actual envelopes aren't working too well for medical / misc household - try virtual envelopes.
* only take on one large project per month (max) - that will leave time for other one-offs / fixes. I'm booked up until May already!!
* Try to work no more than a couple of nights / week
* start monthly newsletter back up
* Keep weekends free
* Enjoy it!!
* try to get into some sort of routine
* don't overcommit with activities
* me time each week
Steps to achieve above goals:
* Utilise LETS more
* Concentrate on grocery budget - more from scratch, bulk buying
* Stop buying lunch every time we go out
* Get garden productive
* Track expenses
* Take time to do things rather than just spending money
I'm sure I'll add to this over the next week or so!